The Snow Empress: Sano Ichiro Novels 12

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Teaser: Sano Ichiro has just been appointed to one of the highest positions under the emperor--Chamberlain. Unfortunately with this new found power and influence come more powerful and deadly enemies. Before long, Sano comes face to face with his biggest challenge yet.

Before he can settle into his new duties, one of his enemies abducts his young son and sends him to Hokkaido, the undeveloped snowy northern island of Japan, as a ploy to remove Sano's presence from the capital. Opponents successfully influence the emperor into ordering Sano and his family on an extended mission to Ezogashima, the northern capital. Hopeful that his son is still alive, Sano and Reiko leave their baby daughter and any hopes of political advancement behind. It would be years before they could set foot in the capital again.

Short Thought: Wonderful as always. This novel adds new dimensions to this amazing series.

Expanded Thought: Finally, I got to the next book in the Sano Ichiro mysteries. For those of you familiar with this series, this is a book that you cannot pass over.

The volume contains stark contrasts that give it depth.--court life vs. country life, an established order vs. the state of nature, and the overall cultural/moral differences of the two peoples. The descriptions of the indigenous natives that inhabit Japan's lesser known region, the Ezo, is a real treat as well. It made me think of the intrigue and mystery of the closest American equivalent--the old voodoo culture, or Cajun, culture of New Orleans.

Additional Notes: As with most mystery thrillers, this novel contains scenes of a mildly graphic nature.

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